Summary: To follow Chist is to get into the wheelbarrow!!
Proverbs 3: 1-24
1 My son, do not forget my teaching,
but keep my commands in your heart,
2 for they will prolong your life many years
and bring you prosperity.
3 Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
bind them around your neck,
write them on the tablet of your heart.
4 Then you will win favor and a good name
in the sight of God and man.
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight.
7 Do not be wise in your own eyes;
fear the LORD and shun evil.
8 This will bring health to your body
and nourishment to your bones.
9 Honor the LORD with your wealth,
with the firstfruits of all your crops;
10 then your barns will be filled to overflowing,
and your vats will brim over with new wine.
11 My son, do not despise the LORD’s discipline
and do not resent his rebuke,
12 because the LORD disciplines those he loves,
as a father the son he delights in.
13 Blessed is the man who finds wisdom,
the man who gains understanding,
14 for she is more profitable than silver
and yields better returns than gold.
15 She is more precious than rubies;
nothing you desire can compare with her.
16 Long life is in her right hand;
in her left hand are riches and honor.
17 Her ways are pleasant ways,
and all her paths are peace.
18 She is a tree of life to those who embrace her;
those who lay hold of her will be blessed.
19 By wisdom the LORD laid the earth’s foundations,
by understanding he set the heavens in place;
20 by his knowledge the deeps were divided,
and the clouds let drop the dew.
21 My son, preserve sound judgment and discernment,
do not let them out of your sight;
22 they will be life for you,
an ornament to grace your neck.
23 Then you will go on your way in safety,
and your foot will not stumble;
24 when you lie down, you will not be afraid;
when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.
Baptism of Charlotte Shield 06-06-08
Story: When Allied troops captured a young American fighting for the Taliban in Afghanistan, in 2001 a major American newspaper wrote the following:
“The parents of John Walker Lindh, the child of privilege turned Taliban terrorist didn’t put their foot down when he announced that he was going to drop out of school and when he decided to become a Muslim.
Indeed they were actually proud of him for pursuing an alternative course.
His mother said it was “good for a child to find a passion”.
They didn’t object when he asked them to pay his way to Yemen, nor when his new circle of friends included gunmen.
As long as he could remember, his oh- so- progressive parents had answered “Yes” to his every whim. The only thing they insisted on was that nothing was insisted on..
“Newsweek” called it ‘truly perplexing’ that Walker was attracted to this narrow intolerant sect.”
The newspaper went on to say:
“There’s nothing perplexing about it.
He craved standards and discipline. Mum and Dad didn’t offer any; the Taliban did.
If his parents had been less concerned with open mindedness and more concerned with developing their son’s moral judgement, he wouldn’t have ended up where he did.
His road to ruin didn’t begin in Afghanistan, it began with his parents who never said “No!”.
(My thanks for the story goes to “Word for Today” Wed, Sept 4th 2002)
I don’t usually find Newsweek very perceptive – but I think this time they were spot on
How we bring our children up WILL determine to a great extent how they turn out
This morning Chris and Emma have come here because they want to say that they intend to bring Charlotte up in the Christian faith.
And so I would like to speak on the Old Testament reading from Proverbs and to touch on a couple of the verses:
1. A morally good upbringing
The first verse is:
“My son, do not forget my teaching,
But let your heart keep my commandments”
TS Eliot wrote in Four Quartets:
“In my beginning is my end”
In other words, the input of parents into the early life of a child will generally determine the pattern of life for years to come.
The most obvious input of the Christian faith is its moral teaching.
The book of Proverbs is full of this.
For example, it will be very important to teach Charlotte right from wrong and how to choose the company she keeps.
2. A disciple of Christ